From Wikipedia: "The objective of Force Z which consisted of one battleship, one battlecruiser and four destroyers, was to intercept the Japanese invasion fleet north of Malaya. However, the fleet was without any air support, which had been declined by Admiral Sir Tom Philips, the commander of Force Z. Although the British had a close encounter with Japanese heavy surface units, they failed to find and destroy the main convoy. They were then attacked and sunk by long-range medium bombers while attempting to return to Singapore"In this hypothetical scenario, played with the Pz8 1939-41 Naval Rules, Force Z (HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse) intercept a Japanese fleet (Haruna and Kongo battlecruisers, Atago and Takao cruisers) with a limited and disorganized air support.
Here are the data for the ships involved.
Def Att Range
HMS Prince of Wales 5 5 4
HMS Repulse 3 3 4
(6 x 15”)
Haruna, Kongo 3 4 4
(8 x 14”)
Atago, Takao 1 2 3
(10 x 8”)
I played solo picking the British, with the Japanese managed by a D6 roll. The Japanese also had 1D3 Bombers and 1D3 Torpedo Bombers (all land based). At the start of each turn I rolled one 1D6 for the B. and one for the TB. = 5,6 = one air attack was conducted (rolled 1D6 to determinate the target).
The playing surface (100 cm x 50cm) is divided in 8 zones. Ships can move from one zone to another or stay and manouvre broadside. The two opposing fleets can not cross the central line. This abstract system allows a simple game on a small table.
The Japanese sporadic air attacks caused only limited damages to the HMS Prince of Wales and the HMS Repulse, that were repaired in the following turns. The two fleets came at short range but even if Force Z was able to hit several times the Kongo and Haruna, damages were again limited and soon repaired.
The British had a superior firepower, but they wer not able to achieve a decisive "critical hit" or to cripple the Japanese ships. After some turns the Japanese progressively withdrew, under smoke curtains, making more and more difficult to hit them. When the Japanese fleet leaving the table, the battle ended... a strategical victory for the Force Z, that now controls the South China Sea!